♫ Listen: EIGHTXNIGHTS – DRIFTXWOOD

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The cultures of the Earth are innumerable; their traditions are far beyond count and even earnest comprehension to most. There’s a beauty in how ephemeral and innate our respective spiritualities can be conveyed in music. Even without complete understanding, according respect to those traditions can be a reward in its own right.

EIGHTXNIGHTS touch upon the sounds of these traditions, but leaves them appropriately intact. In fact, there’s life in “DRIFTXWOOD,” something that escapes much sampling of traditional music of the world. It’s a miasma of flying dust, gathering strength and casting it aside just as quickly. That dryness, like raw earth, is where the power of this track really lies. To the eyes, it would just be distended cloud, marbled by shadows of debris and indistinct dirt. To your ear, “DRIFTXWOOD” is a cloaked spirit with a purpose unbeknownst to you outside its tumbling specter. Although some may confuse the folk of the non-West for being old, even dead, in value, EIGHTXNIGHTS challenge that idea, showing life in these sounds. Even played with slightly, this track loses none of that intrinsic spirit.

You’re in its realm, as a guest. EIGHTXNIGHTS treat their sampling in much the same way. Reverential of tradition, animated by it.

RAINXMAKER by EIGHTXNIGHTS

Feature: 2017: Favorite Cover Art

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Absurdity’s dead, and we, the citizens of the digital sphere, killed it. What good is Pynchon when our president’s penning a postmodern novel in real time, weaving all-caps interjections and sporadic entanglements with B- and C-list celebrities into his fragmented Twitter narrative? Does James Ferraro’s work still spark the imagination like it did in a world before real-time ridesharing startups founded their own cryptocurrencies in order to eliminate tipping in the service industry? Do vaporwave’s neo-classical busts feel that lifeless among the animated emojis we use as virtual masks? Even the most surreal, depraved nooks and crannies of the internet feel like home.

“Looks like I’m in the weird part of YouTube again,” reads a comment I’ve read a hundred times before. Maybe it felt that way to the user who posted that four years ago. I wish I could feel unnerved by hyperrealistic CGI or creepypasta lore. But how can I when I feel like I’ve been a voyeur all my life, peeking into the collective Id of the post-industrial world?

The album artwork that populated year-end lists past has proven prophetic: to fill 2017’s top 20 countdown with PC Music’s CGI-scapes and Babyfather’s pseudo-nationalist iconography would feel like a cruel joke, too reflective of our pessimistic times. Instead, I’ve sought out earthy pinks, blues, and greens — smeared by brushes or scrawled in pen — to sow future-primitive dreams of happier times. I hope you don’t mind some prescriptive color in lieu of the bleak descriptivism I originally planned on listing. We could all use it.


20

chivo carnada – choxxo /koyote

Artist: Agus Wussy

[Self-Released]



19

Los Campesinos! – Sick Scenes

Artist: R.N. Taylor

[Wichita]



18

Dillon Wendel – Pulse

Artist: Anne Tetzlaff

[The Trilogy Tapes]



17

Alex G – Rocket

Artist: Rachel Giannascoli

[Domino]



16

Lil Wop – Wopavelli 2

Artist: HOODxGHANDI

[Bases Loaded]



15

Swept – Cult Desire

Artist: Mason Lindroth

[Self-Released]



14

Communions – Blue

Artist: Tea Palmelund

[Fat Possum]



13

Jessica Says – Do With Me What U Will

Artist: Unknown

[Chapter Music]



12

Minogame – Lemongrass

Artist: Minogame

[The Worst]



11

Jean-Michel Blais & CFCF – Cascades

Artist: Dan Wilton

[Arts & Crafts]



10

Lina Tullgren – Won

Artist: Unknown

[Captured Tracks]



09

emamouse – holiday of tiny coffee shop

Artist: Jesus Belluci

[Belluci Enterprises]



08

clipping. – The Deep

Artist: clipping.

[Sub Pop]



07

Thundercat – Drunk

Artist: Zack Fox

[Brainfeeder]



06

i-fls – wasted

Artist: i-fls

[Self-Released]



05

Robert Soleto – Cusp

Artist: Daniel Sean Kelly

[Upset the Rhythm]



04

Planning For Burial – Below the House

Artist: Thom Wasluck

[The Flenser]



03

Various Artists – The Downward Spiral

Artist: gei

[The Worst]



02

Daniel Saylor – Spring Rain

Artist: John Zobele

[Bedlam Tapes]



01

Stuck in November – First Visit to Camp Telepathy

Artist: Stuck in November

[Self-Released]


Premiere: FIRE TOOLZ – “DREAMT HEX CODE”

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Yo, people been mad buggy, b. Expect someone to exact your game, but still they still beefin’ like the deli slicing theys meat too thick. “They just calling me,” leads into a game of who stupid, going to sleep alone, and waking up next to two new people. A freedom beyond inside all of us that will never fully be shared. Updates on updates, and just shut down your computer at least once a week. The ability to keep up in an expansive environment cultured for all of use to be at throws with each other. Familiar feels that divide us even more. Excessiveness to the point your shit don’t match the drapes because there’s not enough coming out as you put in. Vices.

New single “DREAMT HEX CODE” by FIRE TOOLZ, including complementary video, behold a world of pure mayhem in organized disillusion. Field ambience paired in the greatest of green. Relentless dream-state progressions that enhance the tingling effects of ASMR. Wait, are those vocals about Links of data code ripping apart a saxaphone just build for repair in the AOL afterlife of digital sludge that smears like a visual after swimming for eight hours. Infinity like a pit of acid that never completely disolves you, but keeps you alive just long enough to die (legitimately) of “old age.” Tropes that transgress all poles. A binary so exceeding, only the strong survive; pronouns in strength and vitality and dropplets of hearts that look like erasers one puts upon the head of pencils.

Bedlam Records has never been wrong. Squeeze every last drip of creativity from FIRE TOOLZ’s newest INTERBEING for that mighty energy high, and snoop the visual companion for “DREAMT HEX CODE” below:

Music Review: Daniel Saylor – Spring Rain

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Daniel Saylor

Spring Rain

[Bedlam Tapes; 2017]

Rating: 3/5

The Encyclopedia Dramatica, which may or may not be a legitimate source of contrarian knowledge in the face of the “unbiased” approach of Wikipedia, approaches vaporwave as any pre-internet institution would: warily, never making direct eye contact. Of the subculture, it says: “Vaporwave may or may not exist as an established art form or means of expression. Vaporwave works against itself to provide entertainment; the boundaries of irony are irrelevant here.” And then, of course, there’s vaporwave’s younger, beefier cousin, hardvapor, with its hypercorporate mindmelt of postmodernism and Netscape utopia mixed with meme-influenced imagery playing as both self-referential and tongue-maybe-in-cheek. It all feels so ethereal and fleeting.

So, how do you attempt to deal with music that thrives in a contextless ether? What music could bridge the anarchic void of internet ephemera and the physical world, where industry, technicality, and social constructs are still veritable gatekeepers? At some threshold, the source material ends and the artist begins, which is where Daniel Saylor’s debut Spring Rain comes in. In an attempt to make the vapor   aesthetic   “tangible,” Saylor approaches consonance through pop culture sampling, live jazz instrumentation, and references to hardvapor’s distant ancestors in breakbeat and glitch music. This album goes beyond the work that Saylor released previously as Windows 98の and currently on his label, Bedlam Tapes; it’s a simple answer to the progression of a style of music that he and others have worked to legitimize, shedding the material constraints of the genre and using live-tracked instruments to meld jazz with various electronic styles.

Spring Rain by Daniel Saylor

Pioneers from many electronic narratives are given cameos: for example, Dan Deacon, the father of frenetic, circuit-breaking rave anthems, is sampled on “Crossing Paths.” It’s a moment when Saylor’s ideas really click together, and the composition is exciting and seamless. The track then transitions into one of the album’s many interludes, which also happens to contain some of the album’s most impactful moments. Imogen Heap, who inadvertently sang the blueprint for a sub genre of ghostly hip-hop when her voice was sampled by Clams Casino for “I’m God,” appears on “Breathe.” Saylor also samples George Clinton, Hirokazu Tanaka (the composer behind many classic Nintendo titles), mathcore savants Dillinger Escape Plan, and even Kanye West, all with some sort of purpose in mind, no doubt.

Saylor is a bit like of a foil to Venetian Snares. He clearly has a deep fundamental and technical musical knowledge, and like Aaron Funk, he has a quixotic online presence and questionable sense of humor that gleefully undermines the seriousness of his music. They are also both reflections of the state of the internet during their respective heydays, which is also what makes them extremely different. Venetian Snares was all about chaos, filth, and grimly chauvinistic imagery, adopting a kidult machismo that long predated meme/trolling culture’s preoccupation with juvenile in-jokes, homoerotic jabs, and cartoonish violence. Saylor takes an opposite approach: Spring Rain is like a spa day away from whatever circle of hell society has wound up in, one where the Western standard of living is higher and comfort more accessible than ever, paid for by constant exposure to advertisements, aggravating fictions, and the ceremonial beating of the dead culture horse.

Spring Rain definitely isn’t subtle on the dramatics. In fact, things get silly on “Forward Junction” and “Downtown,” two songs that seem like they’re meant to be a crest in the album’s narrative, but are ultimately overstuffed with content, like the stereotypical teenage gamer’s bedroom. While this NES influence leads him to craft some questionable melodies (like on the second part of “Ashes into Rivers”), Saylor also manages to do what the best video game soundtracks do on “Unstill Waters”: create a sense of narrative place — in this case, the album’s danceable finale. And by understanding the nuances of live instrumentation and the tropes of today’s most popular and exciting electronic music, Saylor wisely places himself in both camps: a technocrat and a subversive, and also, in his own words, a composer and “savant.”

♫ Listen: Fire-Toolz – “CODENAME BONKERS”

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“May awakening be known in your body at this time.”

I’ve always been at odds with the idea of meditative music being, by necessity, soft or repetitive. The popular notion in the West persists of chanting, chimes, etc. True mindfulness though doesn’t require that set formula or certain boxes of Eastern traditions to check. With a bit of practice and the right mindset, the sounds are somewhat secondary.

There’s a meditative quality to gnarly culture-jammer Fire-Toolz’s latest track “CODENAME BONKERS.” Even beyond the spiritual guidance of queer Buddhist priest Zenju Earthlyn Manuel (a nice sampling touch), this track has a different vibe to it compared to the earlier work of Fire-Toolz. Instead of the visceral, sample-heavy, twenty-songs-all-at-once approach that Angel Marcloid built the project from, “CODENAME BONKERS” is…mellow? The sonic perforation is absolutely still there; there’s a driving kick straight out of a gabber track but over a misty open chord, like rushing through a bonus level in Crash Bandicoot. In fact, it’s a rather bare track in contrast to what Fire-Toolz has previously done. The outrageous EBM sampling and black metal vocals are gone and what is left is a pure rolling beat, adorned with guitar and bass riffs as well as the occasional key squeal. It’s a strangely soothing sound.

In the pursuit of zen, “CODENAME BONKERS” achieves something a little zany but no less sincere and mentally stimulating. With Fire-Toolz giving you all the textures and samples to work this one out, you’ll want to sculpt it with your mind.

“May rage be settled.”

Interbeing by Fire-Toolz is out on CD and beautiful cassette on November 9, through Bedlam Tapes. Stream “CODENAME BONKERS” below:

♫ Listen: Fire-Toolz – “DREAMT HEX CODE”

This post was originally published on this site

“May awakening be known in your body at this time.”

I’ve always been at odds with the idea of meditative music being, by necessity, soft or repetitive. The popular notion in the West persists of chanting, chimes, etc. True mindfulness though doesn’t require that set formula or certain boxes of Eastern traditions to check. With a bit of practice and the right mindset, the sounds are somewhat secondary.

There’s a meditative quality to gnarly culture-jammer Fire-Toolz’s latest track “DREAMT HEX CODE.” Even beyond the spiritual guidance of queer Buddhist priest Zenju Earthlyn Manuel (a nice sampling touch), this track has a different vibe to it compared to the earlier work of Fire-Toolz. Instead of the visceral, sample-heavy, twenty-songs-all-at-once approach that Angel Marcloid built the project from, “DREAMT HEX CODE” is…mellow? The sonic perforation is absolutely still there; there’s a driving kick straight out of a gabber track but over a misty open chord, like rushing through a bonus level in Crash Bandicoot. In fact, it’s a rather bare track in contrast to what Fire-Toolz has previously done. The outrageous EBM sampling and black metal vocals are gone and what is left is a pure rolling beat, adorned with guitar and bass riffs as well as the occasional key squeal. It’s a strangely soothing sound.

In the pursuit of zen, “DREAMT HEX CODE” achieves something a little zany but no less sincere and mentally stimulating. With Fire-Toolz giving you all the textures and samples to work this one out, you’ll want to sculpt it with your mind.

“May rage be settled.”

Interbeing by Fire-Toolz is out on CD and beautiful cassette on November 9, through Bedlam Tapes. Stream “DREAMT HEX CODE” on YouTube below:

♫ Listen: ArtFluids – Umami Deluxe

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It’s not that my patience was different at a certain period of time. Nor does it have to do with consistency, no. Possibly the mythology behind it, although trite in the grand scheme of schemes. Does decoration even play a part anymore. Is the musical aesthetic so neurologically intra-developed that atmospheres are more like terrariums of ecologically sound, or whatever. People ask about nothing at all. People don’t typically talk to me. Shit, people aren’t typically what I want to talk to or about. Like saying, “I love Michael Jackson,” when they’re referring to his music, and mostly nothing else, besides his dancing and cultural allure.

Do I love Art Fluids? It feels fucking GOOD on a Sunday morning when the sky is grey and overcast, summer is still upon us, and there’s at least a million and a half errands to run. So what? So deny my life of Umami Deluxe on Bedlam Tapes? Flick on the radio and bottom-out me mind grapes for a tune or two written by some Swedish millionaire that’s probably not too tuned in? Hell yah! But also, no, because expansion. Pretend like everyone is everything and the playing field is always furthering its reach. Photosynthetics:

♫ Listen: Jobanshi – Koko

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Overwhelming one’s senses with joy and warmth,
Jobanshi’s newest cassette (and digital) on Bedlam Tapes entitled Koko is a soundtrack to life that grows with one like old-age. A travel through time that’s comforting and equally vast, Koko draws upon audio-acoustic sensibilities with sweltering synthetics that drone an ambience of complete bliss. Etched in audio-phonic surroundings, Jobanshi envelops a chamber for comfort that challenges the complete of mind and harnesses auxiliary in harmony for complete emersion. There’s no real escape, but what should there ever be?

Find the statue of Koko on Bedlam Tapes ASAP, carved and crafted by the meticulousness of Jobanshi.

♫ Listen: ext.tmp – toggle god mode

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Bashin’ in brains: Bedlam Tapes’ new toggle god mode by ext.tmp is the sugar cube in all our cavities. It’s what rots there long enough to make us all question being and life-force. The level of living when everything goes Invulnerability Mode, so visuals be like:
When it comes back around, nothing is stopping her. ext.tmp might be the file name, but one click away is a trillion viruses sweating the digital pulses of liquid into breathable sustenance only WiFi can then be used as communication. Thus, telepathy sinks in to toggle god mode on another plane of what it means for humanity to exist: